Friday, May 23, 2008

Style and Focus News Bites

** Actor Hill Harper's (CSI: New York) second book "Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny" (list price: $22.50) will be available in June. The book includes contributions from Angela Basset, Michelle Obama, Tatyana Ali and Nikki Giovanni. It is the follow-up to his national best selling first book "Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny".

** 'Sex And The City' stylist to create a luxury collection for M&S. New York fashion guru Patricia Field, whose clients range from Sarah Jessica Parker to Anne Hathaway, has signed a deal to create a collection for London department store Marks & Spencer. The new range, which Patricia describes as 'Destination Style New York', aims to bring the Manhattan glamour associated with Carrie and co. to the British high street when it debuts in October. The 35-item collection includes dresses, tops, pants and accessories. (Hello magazine)

** Menu Foods, other pet food makers and retailers involved in last year's massive pet food recall will set up a $24 million cash fund to compensate pet owners, according to a proposed settlement filed Thursday in federal court. The fund is expected to compensate thousands of pet owners in the U.S. and Canada who bought recalled pet foods made by Menu and 11 others. The products had a contaminated ingredient from China that sickened dogs and cats. (USA Today)

** Jackie Chan plans to make a film highlighting the plight of victims of last week's earthquake in China – where the death toll is closing in on the 60,000-person mark and more than 5 million people have been left homeless. He returned to his home country as soon as he heard about the 7.9-magnitude quake and also plans to raise money through benefits for the victims. (People magazine)

** Seattle South Lake Union streetcar appears to be slowing down despite what Mayor Greg Nickels, says the line is exceeding expectations. Ridership is almost exactly where the city predicted it would be the first year — about 1,000 average daily trips, based on logs by streetcar drivers. It breaks down to eight riders per one-way trip.

Ticket sales ($1.75 adult ticket) cover 5 percent of the estimated $2.1 million annual operating cost, mainly because the overwhelming majority of riders use King County Metro Transit passes. "That is not, obviously, a stellar performance from a financial viewpoint, but it's also the first year," said Jim Jacobson, deputy general manager for Metro, which operates the city-owned streetcar line. He said ridership will grow as the neighborhood develops and more trains are added. Plus, summer tourists, new employers such as and UW Medicine, along with new condos, are predicted to help boost ridership. (Seattle Times)

** Madonna's Chanel handbag raised almost half a million dollars at a charity auction at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday. A mystery buyer purchased the bag for $471,000. The event raised more than $10 million for amfAR's life-saving Aids research programs. (World Entertainment News Network)

** Actor and rapper, Bow Wow has joined the fifth season of HBO's Entourage with a recurring role as a stand-up comedian who is managed by Eric Murphy, played by actor Kevin Connolly.

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